Today, we are thrilled to introduce you to Rachel Tomlinson, the founder of Truly Rachel, www.trulyrachel.com and @truly_rachel on Instagram. We love the concept of shopping with a purpose. At Truly Rachel, you can shop all the latest jewelry trends and at the same time help change the lives of families and children in need. We talked to Rachel to learn more:
What was your inspiration for founding Truly Rachel?
My inspiration behind Truly Rachel is blending a deep passion of mine with a creative ability I discovered. The passion is my longing to give back to needy families and children. Our shop donates a portion of our proceeds to orphans and needy families. The creative talent I discovered is my ability to create beautiful engraved jewelry and trendy pieces.
What makes Truly Rachel’s jewelry unique?
I believe what makes us unique is my story of how the brand was born. I was as a missionary in Haiti, when one of the children under my care gave me a beautiful hand made necklace and told me to think of her and remember her whenever I wore it. It brings a tear to my eye, because she was used to being abandoned and forgotten. I wore it for one whole year and keep it stowed away with my wedding necklace. That moment changed my life forever. I thought, “Why not make beautiful necklaces and bracelets that send a message of hope to buyers?”
Where do you get your inspiration for your designs?
I get my inspiration from women walking the streets of NYC and from old worn and repurposed metal. I absolutely love using brass and featuring it in my line.
Is Truly Rachel your full time job? If not, what else do you do?
Truly Rachel is a lifestyle to me, though it is not my full time job. I wear my pieces everyday, and people are always asking me about my pieces. Though I work as a Talent Acquisition Recruiter during the day, I’m always selling and posting to my social accounts for Truly Rachel.
What do you like best about being an entrepreneur?
What I love about being an entrepreneur is the ability to carry a legacy for my daughter and my family. I’m a first-generation American from a strong Haitian family. My parents didn’t have the opportunity to go to college but gave their all so that my brothers and I could go on to graduate college. I am a creative, and I enjoy free creative expression and not being told what the agenda will be, but rather creating it myself.
Knowing what you know now, is there anything you wished you studied in school?
I wish I focused more on Graphic Design in my undergrad studies. I did more of it in Grad school, however I’m learning that being able to make pretty things is great, but being a salesperson is imperative. Visual designs and attractive marketing materials to grasp prospects is the key to the next level of this digital wave we are in.
What’s trending for fall as far as jewelry? What are your favorite fall jewelry looks?
I’m absolutely loving the choker trend that’s going around. The chokers can be made with fabric or wired gold plated pieces. On the dainty side, I’m loving gold lariots with personalized pendants.
Do you have a favorite mantra or a go to inspirational quote?
My favorite mantra is to keep on pushing when you feel like quitting. If you could only see how close you are to your breakthrough you would stand longer. The storm comes before the sun appears. At our weakest moments, that’s when an immense amount of character building is being produced. The bigger the battle; the stronger the warrior. If you saw a digital snapshot of your progress, and it had a loading bar with 98% complete and just 2% to go, would you quit?
What do you wish you knew before you started your business?
Something I wish I would have known before launching the line would be to remember that there are many people who are willing to help and not to be discouraged by rejection. The “yes’s” I have received are more notable than the “no’s”.
What do you think makes someone a great leader?
I think a great leader is someone who is willing to roll up their sleeves and do anything to reach their desired goals. Nothing is beneath a great leader and they’re willing to lead by example and take on seemingly menial tasks. A great leader is honest and speaks the truth in a constructive way at all times. A great leader works hard and does everything they are expecting and requiring from their teammates or subordinates. A great leader is available during wins and losses. A great leader is not misleading of flaws but is solution oriented on how to overcome deficits and transfer them for surplus that will benefit the team.
Thank you so much Rachel! We are so thrilled we connected.